Gov. John Kitzhaber proposes to create a large state agency, the Department of Post-Secondary Education, to control state funding for the state's seven public universities, 17 community colleges, need-based college scholarships and Oregon Health & Science University.
The surprise announcement, never floated publicly before Friday, was revealed when Kitzhaber unveiled his budget plan for 2013-15.
If his plan flies, he will have personally selected all the key executives and board members running the main segments of Oregon public education: early childhood, public schools, community colleges and universities.
University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner, whose office would be cut back to help launch the new department, said he first heard about the plan just a week ago. ...Actually there was a lot of talk about this last year. Good to hear the Governor has made the first incision.